You have posted your question in English law. We can answer you the position in law not French law. You would need to put a separate question on the French law section of the site
You happy to proceed on that basis?
We need full background detail as to why this person has decided to use your original name and what the basis of the proceedings are. Thank you
Thank you. I can’t comment on whether what you have posted is true or not but obviously you are aware that that certainly, in English law any comment which is true, cannot be defamatory. Incidentally, any comments made to a person’s face, are also not defamatory even if they are true.
By not accepting the service of documents, even though they were in the wrong name, there would end up being a judgement in default of your reply albeit in the wrong name. I don’t know whether that causes a problem for you or not. If you wanted to get rid of this judgement, you would then be faced with spending £255 applying to court to get the judgements decide. I don’t know what the position is in France.
Your defence would be that you are not the defendant named and that you didn’t get the papers. The claimant would then make an application to court to amend the defendant’s name to the correct name and the whole process would either start again or carry on from that point.
The action that you taken merely serves to either give you a judgement in the wrong name or delay the process, it doesn’t affect the end result.
Unless the comments were published in France I don’t know why he went to a French court. I don’t know what difference having a judgement in a French court makes to you personally.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.
One of the main points which law students are taught to impress upon their clients is “never go to court on the principle”. Only go to court when you have lost something and you want to be put back into the position that you would have been had that loss not occurred or, go to court to defend any action that someone else brings.
However this doesn’t seem to be a principle, this is defending someone else’s action.
Researching extensive caselaw is extremely time-consuming and a barrister would probably charge you around £200 per hour forum advice in respect of that.
You will be able to find a barrister if you have a look at the Bar Council website although if you speak to the barristers clerk at any barristers chambers, they will be able to point you in the direction to a barrister with the necessary qualifications and expertise.
In my opinion, the wrong name on the service of papers is nothing to hang your hat on because it easy to amend the name and re-serve them. The whole process again because, as I said earlier, all this would do is delay the process. The end result would be the same.
If the documents were returned to sender, then they are not validly served. If they were dropped through the letterbox and then you popped them back into the mailbox writing onto them “return to sender” then they are still validly served because you had them before you return them.
If however they are simply dropped through the letterbox, or dropped at your feet because you refuse to take them off the person, they are validly served because the physical being of the person on the documents is the same physical being regardless of the description.
You could argue that you are not the same person if it gets to court but it’s not a convincing argument because the court is more likely to be involved with the physical being.
You can refuse to accept service of papers even if they are in the correct name.
I can’t comment on decisions in French courts obviously but in some jurisdictions, defamation is criminal.
Any damages awarded in a French court are generally enforceable in the UK court. There are reciprocal arrangements in place.
Bailiffs can only turn up at your address in the UK if there is a warrant of control in respect of the debt, which has been issued by a UK court.
If the papers were dropped on the floor of your house, because your father opened the door, those papers are validly served. By all means argue that the proceedings are invalid and let the court decide whether the name is ***** ***** or not but, as I have already made the point, all that’s likely to do is delay things while the papers are reissued or he makes an application to change the name.